What is a 12 Step Program?

What is a 12 Step Program?

The benefits and effectiveness of 12 step programs are known to millions across the nation and around the world. For more than 80 years, the basic elements of the 12 step philosophy have helped millions find and maintain lasting sobriety. Although the original 12 steps focused on helping those with alcohol use disorders get sober, today’s 12 step programs apply to addictions of all kinds.

What is a 12 Step Program?

The original 12 steps, created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous decades ago, set forth a set of guidelines for the most effective way to overcome alcohol addiction. The original 12 steps relied heavily on spiritual guidance and principles, although one does not need to be heavily spiritual to fund success following the process and guidance of the program.

12-step programs are a method that allows recovering addicts to find and rely on the fellowship and support of others throughout all stages of their recovery journey. The basic idea of the original 12 step program (and today’s modern program) is that someone looking to heal from the struggles of addiction can help themselves (and others) overcome behavioral and substances addictions by supporting one another and seeking the support of a “higher power” throughout their recovery.

How are 12 Step Programs Used in Recovery?

12 step programs are an essential component of many rehab programs. The 12 steps also complement aftercare programs by providing an element of peer support and ongoing structure. In the early stages of recovery, 12-step programs help develop a sense of community by bringing together a group of like-minded and supportive peers who share similar struggles with addiction.

Participating in a 12-step program helps remove the sense of isolation and worry many newly recovered addicts feel in the first days after treatment. As part of a 12-step group, you develop a group of peers (some of whom have experienced relapse) who are there to support and guide you through the most challenging days of recovery. Often, these sober peers will remain a source of friendship and support for years to come.

What are the 12 Steps?

Today, not all 12 step programs follow the same format. Some closely adhere to the traditional 12 steps, while others may not remain as dedicated to the original AA steps. While the steps for some programs may follow different order or wording, the original 12 steps remain popular among many groups.

The original 12 steps set forth by the program founders help addicts progress towards long-term sobriety. Members can revisit or repeat any step at any time. The 12-steps as taken from the AA manual are:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

How to Find 12 Step Programs Near Me

To learn more about 12 step programs near you, contact us at Relevance Recovery today. A member of our admissions team can provide information about how we integrate the 12 steps into our recovery and New Jersey aftercare programs and other therapy models offered at our New Jersey rehab center.

Is Yoga Used in Rehab?

Is Yoga Used in Rehab?

Substance use disorders affect millions of Americans of all ages. Thousands of programs are available throughout the nation to help those struggling with addictions to drugs or alcohol get sober and learn the vital relapse prevention tools necessary to remain free from addiction throughout their lives. In a New Jersey treatment program like Relevance Recovery, different therapy models, including traditional and alternative approaches, are used to offer a holistic or “whole person” approach to addiction treatment. Unlike many conventional rehab programs, holistic approaches include complementary therapies like yoga.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual practice used to promote physical and emotional health. The classical yoga practice includes many spiritual elements; however, traditional yoga, as practiced in the United States, is a series of physical postures and breathing techniques combined with meditation. There are several yoga styles. Some are very gentle and easily practiced by almost anyone, whereas others are physically demanding and complex.

Yoga practice has been around for more than 5,000 years. As a result, the practice has evolved and grown with time. As noted above, there are several types or branches of yoga. Perhaps the most familiar include:

Hatha Yoga

The physical and psychological branch of yoga that aims to focus the body and mind.

Raja Yoga

A branch of yoga that incorporates meditation and a strict adherence to a set of disciplinary steps called the eight limbs of yoga.

Karma Yoga

This branch of yoga looks to create a future mindset free from selfishness and negativity.

Bhakti Yoga

A yoga practice that aims to develop a positive, healthy way to channel emotions, acceptance, and tolerance.

Jnana Yoga

A yoga path that focuses on wisdom and intellect through study.

The popularity of yoga has also led to other types of yoga practice, including ashtanga yoga, hot yoga, Iyengar yoga, Kundalini yoga, power yoga, restorative yoga, vinyasa yoga, and Yin yoga. Many of these less historic yoga practices combine the concepts and ideas of the above branches into a more modern and sometimes more physically demanding yoga practice.

Is Yoga Used in Rehab?

Yoga is a complementary or “alternative” therapy model. This means that it is often used as a component of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Yoga is not a replacement for traditional therapy models but rather a therapeutic model used in addition to conventional addiction therapy. Several studies suggest yoga is beneficial in all aspects of addiction treatment. Currently, yoga is used as part of substance abuse treatment programs to help with relapse prevention, reduce cravings and the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, and provide a lifelong coping tool to manage future triggers and daily stressors that often lead to relapse after treatment.

What are the Benefits of Yoga in Addiction Recovery?

Yoga has many benefits both as part of addiction recovery and a long-term healthy lifestyle. Regular yoga practice can help increase strength and stamina, reduce stress, relieve pain, increase energy, improve your sleep, and so much more.

Yoga for addiction recovery may help heal the brain and body. Long-term drug and alcohol use leads to changes in both the brain structure and how the brain functions. Yoga is believed to address and reverse many of those changes naturally. Additionally, yoga used in rehab settings offers many emotional benefits and spiritual benefits. Incorporating yoga into recovery programs helps you focus on your body and emotions. Yoga also enables you to develop self-awareness and take ownership of your behaviors and actions.

Other benefits of yoga for recovering addicts are increased energy, improved diet, and better sleep. These are basic needs that are often adversely impacted by withdrawal symptoms. When you “feel better” overall, you are physically and emotionally able better handle stressors and challenges that arise as part of your recovery journey.

How to Find Yoga Therapy for Addiction

When people talk about (or think about) yoga practice, they envision stretching and poses. But, the advantages of yoga go far beyond enhancing flexibility. As part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program at Relevance Recovery, yoga offers several short and long-term benefits. As part of addiction treatment, yoga can help you manage withdrawal symptoms and focus your mind on healing and recovering from addiction. Yoga is a healthy practice that provides lasting relapse prevention and physical and emotional health benefits in the long term. 
Contact us today to learn more about yoga therapy for addiction and New Jersey outpatient treatment programs.

What is the Best Treatment for Mood Disorders?

What is the Best Treatment for Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders are a challenge that impacts people of all ages. When you have a mood disorder, it affects your emotional state. While it is normal to experience changes in mood, when someone struggles with a mood disorder, the changes are extreme and sometimes unpredictable. Mood disorder symptoms often lead to prolonged periods of intense and overwhelming sadness, happiness, or both.

What is a Mood Disorder?

Mood disorders are a specific category of mental illness. The term “mood disorder” is used in mental health treatment to identify all types of depression and bipolar disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Fifth Edition provides the diagnostic criteria needed to help mental health providers accurately assess the presence of a mood disorder. The most recent version of the DSM, released in 2013, categorizes mood disorders into two groups; bipolar disorders and all forms of depression.

Mood disorders can affect anyone regardless of age. Understanding mood disorders requires knowing what mood disorders are, what the symptoms of a mood disorder may be, and how they are treated as part of a New Jersey mood disorder treatment program.

What are Common Mood Disorders?

As previously noted, the category of “mood disorders” is divided into two smaller groups. These groups include diagnoses of major depressive disorders, Bipolar I, and Bipolar II disorders. Although each diagnosis is different, each “type” of mood disorder also shares common symptoms with the others.

Major Depressive Disorder

The DSM lists the criteria for major depressive disorder as having symptoms of depression, including extreme hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness for more than two weeks. These symptoms must also lead to a notable (significant) impairment in your day-to-day functioning.

Bipolar I Disorder

Bipolar I (previously manic depression) is characterized by manic phases. Someone with Bipolar I will have alternating states of high energy, activity, and euphoria followed by irritability and lethargy. During manic phases, a teen with Bipolar I may participate in activities that harm themselves or those around them. Unfortunately, stages of mania often lead to a disconnect between actions and consequences. Because of this disconnect, someone struggling with manic symptoms may not fully understand their actions’ hurtful or harmful effects on themselves or others.

Bipolar II Disorder

A Bipolar II diagnosis requires one to experience at least one episode of hypomania and other bipolar symptoms. Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. They must also experience a bout of depression. This does not have to be present-day depression; it can occur at any time in the past or currently. A Bipolar II diagnosis requires you not to experience manic episodes.

What are the Signs of a Mood Disorder?

Regardless of the specific diagnosis, mood disorders will present with a combination of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. Someone with a mood disorder may experience recurring physical ailments such as headaches, stomach pains, or fatigue. You may also experience difficulties with sleep, decreased energy, and changes in diet and weight.

Mood disorders cause emotional and behavioral changes as well. You may feel a wide range of emotions, including guilt, sadness, despair, and reduced self-esteem. You may lose the desire to spend time with social groups or participate in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed. Mood disorders make it difficult to focus on completing a task or staying organized. If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks or interfere with your ability to complete daily tasks, seeking help from a New Jersey treatment center like Relevance Recovery may help you better understand your symptoms and the steps to overcome them.

What is the Best Treatment for Mood Disorders?

The best mood disorder treatment combines therapy and (often) medications. Talk therapy is considered the most successful therapy used in mood disorder treatment. Widely used forms of talk therapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, is often used for various mental health conditions, including mood disorders and addiction treatment. CBT is considered the most widely researched therapy for mood disorders.

DBT sessions are designed to help you learn how to safely manage and regulate the emotions that stem from mood disorder symptoms. Another goal of DBT is to help someone with a mood disorder learn how to process stressful, upsetting emotions while improving strained relationships with family and friends.

For some, medications may help reduce the intensity of symptoms as part of a comprehensive retreatment plan. It is important to remember medications are not suitable for everyone. A member of our team of professionals at Relevance Recovery will work with you to determine how (or if) specific medications may help to alleviate the difficulties associated with some symptoms, especially in the early days of treatment. Commonly used medications include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs. If you are concerned about a mood disorder and would like to learn more about mood disorder treatment, let the team at Relevance Recovery help. Contact a member of our admissions team today to learn more about our programs and how New Jersey outpatient treatment at our mood disorder treatment program can help you.

What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?

What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?

There are several types of personality disorders. Some, such as paranoid personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, are familiar to many, but these are not the only diagnoses treated in a mental health treatment program. Whether well-known or otherwise, millions of Americans of all ages live with personality disorder symptoms that may make accomplishing day-to-day tasks challenging.

What is a Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders are described as a category of mental health conditions characterized by unhealthy feelings and behaviors. Because there are several types of personality disorders, symptoms present differently from person to person and depending on their diagnosis. People with a personality disorder often exhibit rigid or inflexible behavior and thought patterns. It is not uncommon for someone with a personality disorder to struggle significantly with relationships. They will often have difficulties forging new relationships and maintaining existing ones.

Day-to-day stressors are also challenging to manage in ways that others, such as employers, family, or friends, find acceptable because the individual with the personality disorder finds their actions ok or “normal,” whereas others see them as socially unacceptable. This often leads to a common symptom of personality disorders called blame-shifting.

The person with the personality disorder may blame their social and personal challenges on others rather than consider they could be linked to a deeper problem. Blame-shifting behavior frequently causes significant problems in academic, personal, or employment environments. Without help and treatment, someone who struggles with a personality disorder will find they struggle with social and personal relationships.

What are the Causes of a Personality Disorder?

The root causes of personality disorders remain largely unknown. Despite ongoing and extensive research, these mental health challenges remain some of the least understood or recognized mental health disorders. Current studies suggest several factors, including genetics, substance use disorders, and trauma history, may contribute to personality disorder development. To date, there is minimal evidence to suggest personality disorders are present at birth; however, certain genetic factors may contribute to an elevated risk for their development as one gets older.

What are the Different Types of Personality Disorders?

When you seek help for a mental health concern, the first step in treatment is generally an assessment. Members of your treatment team will ask questions about your symptoms to learn more about your specific needs. The DSM-5 or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders provides specific diagnostic criteria for mental health providers to reference when assessing the severity of mental health or substance use disorders. In the DSM, personality disorders are separated into three clusters. Some people may experience symptoms from one cluster, whereas others may have symptoms from two or all three.

Cluster A: Suspicious

Cluster A personality disorders are those with symptoms connected to one’s opinions or thoughts about others. When someone has a cluster A personality disorder, they are often considered odd or eccentric. This cluster contains three diagnoses; paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.

Cluster B: Emotional and Impulsive

Cluster B personality disorders consist of symptoms connected to how one treats or acts towards others. This cluster of disorders also focuses on symptoms concerning how the individual believes they compare to (relate to) others). Cluster B personality disorders generally contribute to unpredictable, emotional, or dramatic behavior. This cluster includes four diagnoses, including antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.

Cluster C: Anxious

This cluster of personality disorders focuses on symptoms related to how a person feels in their environment or relationships with others. Someone with a cluster C disorder will often act or behave anxiously or fearfully. Three diagnoses comprise cluster C, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), avoidant personality disorder, and dependent personality disorder.

How to Find Treatment for Personality Disorders

People with personality disorders do not often choose to seek help at a treatment center like Relevance Recovery. For this reason, many who struggle with symptoms will avoid seeking help to understand their emotions and how to take the first steps towards wellness. The unwillingness to acknowledge symptoms or seek help often holds true until their symptoms begin to interfere with their day-to-day lives. It is not uncommon for someone with a personality disorder, regardless of which type, to feel threatened by others, so voluntarily seeking out help feels counterintuitive and challenging what they think is “normal.”If you or a loved one struggles with a personality disorder, it is vital to seek treatment to manage your symptoms. The very nature of personality disorders makes acknowledging the need for help challenging. However, without the support and guidance provided at Relevance Recovery, symptoms will only worsen with time, making a recovery more complex and challenging. As part of treatment, you will also learn how to cope with triggering events or situations to manage emotions and challenges in the future better. Let our experienced and supportive staff help you take the first steps on your recovery journey. Reach out to our admissions team today for more information about our treatment programs in Freehold, NJ.

DBT and Aftercare

depression treatment nj

DBT is widely used in the treatment of substance use disorders. One of the core goals of DBT is to help patients build the confidence and coping abilities to effectively handle stressful situations. Some of the core principles of DBT—such as improving communication skills, coping skills, and self-image, are critical to helping those suffering from addiction move away from drug use. Dialectical behavior therapy can help those seeking addiction treatment learn several skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation, which effectively assist addicted people to stop using drugs and alcohol. 

DBT also focuses on changing an individual’s behavior and surroundings to make sobriety easier. DBT strategies include helping patients seek out environments and peer groups that discourage drug use. DBT encourages addicts to remove triggers such as drug paraphernalia or unhealthy relationships from their lives, to bolster self-esteem and confidence, and help patients stay sober through stressful periods. 

One of dialectical behavior therapy’s primary functions is to teach life skills that support sober living. This function is referred to as enhancing capabilities. Addiction can make it difficult for a person to take care of themselves. Making positive choices, following through on important responsibilities, and maintaining healthy behaviors can be challenging for someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. A DBT therapist helps clients recognize areas of their life that they need to work on. Once the therapist and client have identified these areas, they work together to develop an arsenal of life skills that fight these negative influences. 

Dialectical behavior therapy focuses on improving four major areas of a person’s life: 

  • Emotion regulation skills: Negative and dysfunctional emotions can be triggers for substance use. If a person is unable to handle their emotions in a healthy way, they may be tempted to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol and relapse. Therapy sessions teach a person to regulate and relate to their emotions in a more productive way. 
  • Mindfulness skills: Mindfulness teaches a person to be more aware and present in the moment instead of getting overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings that are tied to the past and future. By paying better attention to these things, a person is better able to create a more calm and balanced state of mind. This can also help to reduce stress, a trigger for relapse. 
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Relationships can become strained under the weight of addiction. Families, friendships, and work relationships often suffer as a person makes finding and using drugs a priority above almost everything else. Interpersonal effectiveness teaches a person how to improve their communication and relationship skills. 
  • Distress tolerance skills: These sessions work to remove or reduce any self-sabotaging behaviors in a person’s life. Under the therapist’s guidance, a person will work to develop tools that can help them overcome crisis situations. They will also learn how to handle distress better. One way of doing this is by practicing radical acceptance. Radical acceptance encourages a person to accept the present moment instead of resisting it or exhausting themselves by fighting to change it.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorder?

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorder?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI indicates anxiety disorders are among America’s most common mental illnesses. Recent surveys suggest that up to 19% of the 40 million American adults over age eighteen struggle with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are treatable with help and support. Sadly, like addiction and many other mental health conditions, few of those who could benefit from treatment ever seek the help they need. Data from the AADA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) shows that less than 37% of those with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.

What is an Anxiety Disorder?

NAMI defines anxiety as “a persistent and ongoing struggle that interferes with your day-to-day life.” Most people begin to experience anxiety symptoms during early childhood and adolescence. Often, these symptoms will persist through adulthood. It is possible to have one anxiety disorder or multiple diagnoses.

Unlike other medical and mental health conditions, anxiety is more than a singular diagnosis. Anxiety is a group of conditions, all related in some form. Each has unique symptoms but shares symptoms with other forms of anxiety as well. The most common anxiety symptom shared across all anxiety disorders is excessive, persistent fear in situations that should not provoke fear.

People with anxiety experience various emotional and physical symptoms. While symptoms may vary from person to person, most people experience irritability, feelings of dread, hypervigilance (always “on edge”), and feeling tense or jumpy. Common physical anxiety symptoms may include racing heart, insomnia, shortness of breath, stomach aches, fatigue, and sweating.

Research has not provided a sole risk factor or cause that increases one’s risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Several studies point to multiple factors, including environmental, genetic, and biological factors. Other factors include trauma, illness, and ongoing substance abuse.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorder?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders or DSM is a manual used

by the mental health community to assess and diagnose the presence of a mental health condition. The DSM provides several criteria used by members of the treatment teams at Liberty House to understand anxiety disorders’ symptoms and the best treatment methods. Several types of anxiety disorder are listed in the DSM; however, five are more common than others.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

When you struggle with generalized anxiety disorder, you will experience frequent anxiety symptoms virtually every day. Often, feelings of tension and heightened worry are present even when there is no “reason” to be fearful.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is characterized by two primary symptoms; obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and unwanted thoughts that often “cause” someone with OCD to engage in compulsions. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that people recognize as hallmark OCD symptoms. Compulsive behaviors may include actions like checking, counting, or even hand washing. Compulsions or rituals are performed in the hopes of reducing the intensity and severity of obsessions. Compulsions are executed without fail. Compulsions can be time-consuming and cause significant interference with one’s day-to-day life. While they only provide temporary relief, failure to perform them often worsens anxiety.

Panic Disorder

Someone with a panic disorder experiences unexpected and recurring episodes of uncontrollable and overwhelming fear. This fear is also accompanied by physical symptoms, including stomach upset, difficulty breathing, and racing heart.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder often occurs after someone experiences an event that leads to harm or the threat of harm. There are many examples of events that can lead to PTSD, including accidents, assault, natural disasters, and witnessing or experiencing violence.

Social Phobias

Social phobias are also called social anxiety disorders. Social phobias lead to feelings of extreme self-consciousness when participating in everyday social situations.

How to Find Anxiety Treatment in New Jersey

If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, seeking help at an anxiety treatment center in New Jersey can help. Our team of caring and compassionate treatment providers at Relevance Recovery are here to help you understand the challenges that lie at the root of anxiety so you can begin your journey to healing. Don’t let struggles with anxiety steal another day. Contact a member of our admissions team today to learn more about anxiety treatment at Relevance Recovery.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy & 12 Step Mutual Aid Groups

If you have acquired frequent flyer miles in the world of treatment, you are probably familiar with the worlds of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and 12 Step models like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous. DBT utilizes emotional regulation, mindfulness, and coping skills to address problematic patterns in our thoughts, actions, and relationships. Anyone with some step work under their belt knows this is also a pragmatic description of what the 12 Step Process has provided for almost a century.  

12 Step Model

The 12 Step model sums itself up as “a spiritual approach to recovery,” and the old-timey wording of the steps does not represent the cumulative skills therein. Still, the founders of AA were applying what was working to treat alcohol on a peer level. Psychology caught up, and we can now see some of the science behind these peer support methods quantified in DBT.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

In DBT, we see the concept of interpersonal effectiveness, in which we identify unmanageability in how we respond and react to others, then practice skills to improve relationships. These skills are cultivated in the rooms, facilitated by a group atmosphere, sponsorship, and peer network. Each step encourages self-exploration and also carries a “spiritual principle” such as acceptance, responsibility, hope, honesty, and willingness.  

These principles can serve as examples of DBT’s distress tolerance skills. When practiced over time and reinforced by connection to the recovery community, they can strengthen our thought processes and birth coping skills. The mindfulness encouraged in DBT is provided by the self-maintenance and meditation practiced in the later steps. The overall goal of both 12 Step Programs and DBT is to improve our ability to align who we are with who we want to be. Whether we are applying science or spirituality, we get out of these programs what we put into them.

What are the Signs of Major Depressive Disorder?

What are the Signs of Major Depressive Disorder?

Feeling upset, blue, or down on occasion is a typical experience for most people. Everyone has times where they don’t happiness is out of reach, or a particular situation or event is overwhelmingly upsetting. When this occurs, people often say they are “depressed.” For many, these feelings are only temporary. Often, they will resolve shortly after the circumstances that caused unpleasant emotions resolves. Clinical depression, or simply depression, is different. The feelings you experience when you have depression are for more than temporary feelings of sadness.


What is Major Depressive Disorder?

In the mental health community, depression is also referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. These conditions are characterized by overwhelming symptoms of emptiness, sadness, or irritability that affect your ability to function in your day-to-day environment. Without treatment, these symptoms can become so overwhelming that they lead to a loss of function at work and home. For someone to meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for depression, these symptoms must last for a minimum of two weeks. Additionally, the symptoms you experience during depressive episodes must be different from your previous level of functioning. In other words, your symptoms must lead to a clinically significant change in mood and ability.

Major depressive disorder does not have a specific root cause or risk factor. Researchers believe several possible factors might increase one’s risk for developing depression. These include genetics, environmental, psychological, and biological factors. The Diagnostic and Statistical Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines several potential risk factors for depression which include:

  • Adverse or traumatic childhood experiences
  • Family members (parents or siblings) with depressive disorders
  • Certain chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity)
  • A series of stressful life events or changes

While depression is not the most widely diagnosed mental health concern, up to 16% of American adults will experience clinically significant depression at some point in their lives. Some studies suggest women are more than three times as likely to experience major depression during their lifetime.

Are Major Depressive Disorder and Depression the Same Thing?

The National Institutes of Mental Health offer the same definition for clinical depression and major depressive disorder. When someone experiences depressive symptoms significant enough to lead to a clinical diagnosis, they might be diagnosed with clinical depression or major depressive disorder.

What are the Signs of Major Depressive Disorder?;

Major depressive disorder or clinical depression is a diagnosable condition characterized by a depressed mood for most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks or more. It is important to note there are several types of depression and the symptoms associated with each diagnosis vary slightly. The signs and symptoms commonly associated with major depression typically include a combination of the following:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Anger and irritability
  • Excessive guilt or feelings of worthlessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Loss of interest in usual activities or hobbies
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating or remaining attentive
  • Restlessness
  • Changes in appetite or eating patterns
  • Increased body aches and pains (without an apparent underlying medical reason)

How to Find Depression Treatment Near Me

Trying to manage major depressive disorder without help can be difficult. Depending on the severity and intensity of your depression symptoms, there may be days where your symptoms take over everything else. However, you can overcome your symptoms with support and guidance from the caring and compassionate team at Relevance Recovery. Depression is a highly treatable illness. Like many other mental health struggles, depression does not have a known “cure,” but with treatment at a depression treatment program, you can learn how to manage your symptoms and significantly reduce their impact on your day-to-day life.

If you or a loved one struggles with major depressive disorder, help is available. At a treatment program specializing in depression treatment, you will work with members of your treatment team to develop a path to recovery that focuses on your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Let our team of caring and compassionate providers at Relevance Recovery help you break free from the chains of depression. To learn more about us, our programs, and how we can help you learn to manage symptoms of depression,  contact a member of our admissions team today.

What You Need to Know About EMDR and How It Works

Our past traumas and PTSD have a tendency to influence our current emotions, feelings about ourselves, and how we react in different situations and relationships. Symptoms of past traumas can present themselves in many different ways, such as depression, anxiety, change in sleep, mood swings, change in appetite, body aches, nightmares and flashbacks, increased substance abuse, and dependence. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy that helps us break through those emotional blocks by being aimed toward a trauma-focused approach and has a goal of processing and reducing traumatic memories. EMDR can take multiple sessions and will only begin after you and your trained clinician develop a solid and trusting relationship and discuss the course in treatment. The process will begin with identifying a traumatic memory or event that causes you any type of discomfort or triggers PTSD symptoms. Understanding EMDR and how it works can be incredibly beneficial to a person’s recovery.

How EMDR Works

When EMDR processing begins, you will focus on the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations that come up for you when imagining your traumatic event. While engaging in these thoughts, you will be instructed to follow your clinician’s fingers, which will cause your eyes to move back and forth, from left to right at a rapid speed, just like when we are in REM sleep. EMDR can be an emotional process, but with the work and relationship developed between you and your therapist, you will be prepared with coping skills to manage these thoughts. Between eye movements, you will provide brief reports about what you are noticing, and this alternating process helps you work through and gain a better understanding of these memories. These movements may cause different emotions or memories associated with the trauma to arise and allow you to process them in a safe and supportive environment. The goal of these emotions and feelings is to decrease in intensity until they no longer cause continued pain. Throughout working on these traumas, you will learn to shift your negative beliefs about yourself and the event to positive beliefs, ultimately leaving you to feel empowered and motivated. 

What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Bipolar Disorder

What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are different mental health conditions that are frequently confused. Because they share similar symptoms, it is not uncommon for people to wonder if there is a connection between them.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme shifts or alterations in mood. It is estimated that as many as 2.5 million Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder, making it a prevalent mental illness in the United States. Bipolar disorder is typically diagnosed when one reaches their early twenties; however, diagnosis may occur during childhood or in the teen years, depending on symptoms. Currently, there is no cure for bipolar disorder, but mental health treatment can minimize the impact of symptoms.

When someone struggles with bipolar disorder, they experience three primary symptoms; mania, hypomania, and depression. Mania occurs when the person goes through a period of intense emotional highs. During mania or a “manic episode,” they will experience various emotions, including excitement, impulsivity, and euphoria. They will also have excessive amounts of energy, impacting their ability to sleep or rest.

Hypomania is a symptom commonly associated with bipolar II disorder. Hypomania is similar to mania; however, symptoms and emotional highs are not as notable or severe. Depressive episodes are the exact opposite of manic episodes. During an episode of depression, feelings of deep sadness, hopelessness, loss of energy, and lack of interest in commonly enjoyed activities occur.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality is described as a mental health condition that impacts how someone thinks and feels about themselves and others. Personality disorders like borderline personality disorder are characterized by patterns of thought, behavior, and feelings that are often unhealthy and inflexible. Someone with a borderline personality disorder will often struggle to foster healthy relationships with others.

 They may also have difficulty managing everyday problems in ways others consider “acceptable.”

What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are often confused. Both conditions share many similar symptoms leading people to wonder if there is a connection between the two. To date, science has yet to confirm a link between the two illnesses, and they remain separate diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Several characteristics separate these conditions.

Although mood changes characterize both, the quality of mood change may be different depending on the diagnosis. Someone who struggles with bipolar disorder will often experience mania and depression. In contrast, someone with a borderline personality disorder will experience intense and overwhelming feelings of loneliness, anger, hopelessness, and feelings of emotional pain.

The mood shifts associated with borderline personality disorder are usually short-lived and connected to environmental stressors such as disagreements with a loved one. Conversely, the mood shifts linked to bipolar disorder may last days or weeks and can occur without a known cause.

What Causes Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder?

There is not a specific cause of borderline personality disorder. Like several similar mental health struggles, studies suggest the condition develops out of genetic factors, environmental factors, trauma, and parent/child connections during a child’s developmental stages.

Similarly, bipolar disorder does not have one specific cause. The development of bipolar disorder is linked to brain structure and functioning, family history of the illness, and genetic predisposition.

How to Find Mental Health Treatment for Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder

Each disorder causes different symptoms, and therefore, the treatment methods for borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder vary as well. It is important to find a treatment center where the treatment staff specializes in addressing the symptoms of your condition. It is also essential for your therapeutic team to understand the subtle yet significant differences between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

Seeking help at a mental health rehab like Relevance Recovery can help you begin your journey towards putting your symptoms in the past. Although bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder are not necessarily “curable,” it is possible to learn safe and effective ways to manage symptoms, so these conditions are less impactful on your day-to-day health and happiness. Let the team at Relevance Recovery show you how as you connect with us to learn more about our programs that may support you along your journey.